DUTA to start mass mobilising campaigns

Plans to file RTI on decisions taken by VC, registrar

Delhi University Teachers’ Association, which ended its relay hunger strike after 53 days, has now decided to start mass mobilisation campaigns.

While members from Left parties and students plan to reach out to resident welfare associations and schools on the issues, DUTA is planning to file a series of Right to Information applications on ‘inconsistencies’ in the administrative decisions taken by the vice chancellor and the registrar.

Abha Dev Habib, member of DUTA and  Democratic Teachers Federation (DTF), said DUTA  members from the Left plan to talk with college principals, schools, MPs, and RWAs to bring DU issues to their notice.

DUTA will start working on a white paper and file RTI applications where the VC has bypassed statutory guidelines and bodies like the academic council and the executive council. Work on this will start in December, she said.

DUTA is also planning a series of events like a jansunwai in the third week of January to highlight the experiences of students, teachers and karamcharis as a result of non-fulfilment of their demands, a public seminar on “The Idea of a University” in the first week of February as a rebuttal to the “Academic Congress” held by the VC, and in defence of the varsity as a public-funded institution.

Also planned is a march to Union human resource development ministry in the second week of February and joint programmes with  teachers' organisations at the national level.

The end of the strike brought criticism from many sections of teachers who felt that despite their facing salary cuts and showing solidarity with the DUTA programme, the body could not make the administration start a dialogue.

“The decision to call off the strike was difficult for us too as we were in it for over 50 days. We met the HRD minister who assured that he would ask the VC to start talks,” said another DUTA member. “If the VC is still adamant, that shows that the government doesn’t want any dialogue.”

Habib rubbished allegations that DUTA was quietly supporting the administration.

“We called off the strike as December in DU doesn't witness much crowd. Students and teachers are busy with the exams, followed by vacations. We thought of using our energy in some other way,” she said.

“There is only a shift in the form of the teachers' movement. The strike gave us some success and we were able to reach out to students and teachers.” She said it also helped bring issues in the public domain through media, as a result of which the VC stood ‘exposed’.

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